IT Services Project Management Office (ISPMO)
IT Services Project Management Office
The ISPMO provides a support service to all projects in IT Services. The ISPMO’s support services include:-
- Administrative support for project managers
- Reporting project status to management
- Providing standards, methodologies and a set of PM tools
- Management of project documentation
- Promotion of project management within the university
Below is a list of our current projects.
UCC Website Strategic Review
Aim: This project will review the design, user experience and content governance and strategy of the UCC website. The focus is on strategically important external facing sections that drive brand and income.
Status: Phase 1 of the project is complete. We are currently in the process of putting phase 2 out to tender.
The project is sponsored by the IT Director and Director of Marketing and Communications and steered by the Digital Estate Working Group
There are a large number of stakeholders and requirements will only become clear through detailed engagement with the stakeholder groups.
It was therefore decided to break the project into two phases, phase 1 to discover and define, phase 2 to design and build.
Phase 1 (Discover and Define):
- Analyse existing site
- Gather requirements and priorities
- Define high level scope
- Present design concepts and wireframes
- Develop a project plan
Phase 2 (Design and Build) will be the implementation phase of the project.
The project was initiated.
Phase 1 was put out to tender.
Tender process complete and Phase 1 awarded to preferred partner.
Deliverables for phase 1 identified as:
- Website Analysis - Traffic | User Behaviour | Usability | ROI
- Stakeholders Workshop
- Focus Group/Survey Consultation
- Website Requirements Document and Recommendations
- Design Concepts and Wireframes
- Draft Project plan
- Final Report
- Online stakeholder questionnaire created and distributed
- Initiated review of all web analytics
- Initiated web usability survey
- Plan for stakeholder workshop
- Conducted a full day stakeholders workshop
- Collated user insight data – analytics, usability survey, stakeholder workshop
- Completed Analytics Reports
- Conducted Focus Groups
- Conducted follow on one to one and group meetings with key site section owners
- Business Requirements Document
- Design Concepts and Wireframes
- Final report and presentations to stakeholders
- Tender for phase 2
University Relationship Managment (URM)
URM is a targeted strategic project for University College Cork (UCC). The project is sponsored by the Registrar and Senior Vice-President Academic and will be jointly delivered by the IT Director and Academic Secretary. UCC will implement a flexible, scalable CRM platform across UCC and its subsidiaries. It is envisaged that all functional/service areas will fully embrace and champion CRM for the following – where applicable:
- Marketing campaigns for student recruitment,
- Lead management for prospective students,
- Student services management for registered students,
- Account management for 3rd party service providers, and
- Automation of efficient business processes.
The CRM will provide a rich and insightful management information dataset, that can be used to streamline business processes, prioritize work and enhance communications, thereby fostering a culture of continually improving the experience for our students and staff at the University. The CRM will be a key contributor and point of reference for all levels of decision making within the University.
The initial scope of the project includes projects to deliver a CRM Infrastructure and platform, an Online Programme Applications Engine (PAE) and Student Recruitment and a Student Service Desk (SSD) to underpin the new Student Hub.
Tender process complete, preferred implementation partner selected and engaged. CRM project launched.
Completion of Infrastructure and platform integration, completion of student information system integration phase 1.
Online Programme Applications Engine (PAE) Phase 1 go live for ACE and International Office.
Student Service Desk (SSD) Pilot scheduled for go live.
Classroom Technology Upgrade
Audio Visual Media Services (AVMS) and IT Services, in close partnership with Buildings and Estates, are undertaking a project to upgrade many of the centrally‐bookable room teaching facilities right across the UCC campus over the next three years. This upgrade of teaching and learning space will include new technologies, improved Wi‐ Fi and better connectivity to provide a better user experience for students and teaching staff.
The new minimum Audio Visual standard for teaching rooms will include these technologies:
‐ AV controls at teaching desk
‐ Touch screen monitors and collaboration systems
‐ HDMI connections for mobile devices ‐ Wi‐Fi for mobile devices
‐ Cameras for lecture capture, Skype etc.,
‐ Document cameras where possible
‐ Lamp free laser data projectors with HD capability
Work has recently commenced on this project, the first phase of which will see Audio Visual systems introduced to 15 rooms which previously had none, and out‐dated Audio Visual systems in a further 10 rooms upgraded by September 2016. The rooms included in the current phase of this project are listed below. Training material will be made available online to support all new features and an onsite training session can be conducted on request.
AUDIO VISUAL SYSTEMS INTRODUCED TO ‐ ORB G.30, G.39, G.40, G.42S, 1.37
‐ BHSC 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 264
‐ SAF 01, G02
‐ Distillery House G01, G02
AUDIO VISUAL SYSTEMS UPGRADED IN
‐ ORB G.41, 1.44, 1.45, 2.01, 2.44, 3.26 ‐ AL G19
‐ BHSC G04, G05, G06
In addition to these upgrade works AVMS will conduct routine maintenance throughout the summer and, where a need is identified, additional rooms will receive new equipment, including new data projectors in Boole 2 and Boole 4. The Wi‐Fi service is being upgraded in all teaching spaces across the campus and this work will initially target the Library, the Kane building and all the rooms in the table above. The presenter PCs in 50 of the centrally‐bookable rooms will be upgraded during the summer, with all remaining rooms being upgraded during the summer of 2017.
Smartcard Project - Phase II
Smartcard is a payment service introduced onto UCC ID cards in September 2014. The aim was to enhance the Student, Staff and wider UCC experience. Students and Staff are now able to access and pay for a range of services using their current Student and Staff ID Cards. This service has increased the functionality of UCC ID Cards – making them more than just access and ID Cards.
Phase 1 - Smartcard Services rolled out to UCC in September 2014. Further information can be found at: http://www.ucc.ie/en/smartcard/.
Phase 2 - A number of measures have been rolled out in Phase 2:
The Library Fines Kiosk was rolled out in the Boole Library, allowing students to pay fines using the Smartcard.
A new purse has been added to the card, allowing parents or departments to add money to that purse, but the purse itself precludes use of those funds for alcohol.
Smartcard services have been added to the Library External Readers cards personalising external reader cards with a photograph and cardholder details.
Staff printing has been enabled within the library, allowing members of staff without access to printers to use the library printing system, releasing and paying on Staff ID cards in the same manner of students.
The next stage of this project involves implementing options for Smartcard payments with mobile devices, creating a kind of digital smartcard.
This is a project to specify, tender, design and build the future infrastructure required by University College Cork. This project is a pre-requisite of the IS Strategic Plan project to deliver infrastructure as a service to the research community and the future needs of staff and students across the campus. This project will also result in a redesign of current administration purposes for IT infrastructure procurement in UCC.
Dell Corporation Ltd., has been engaged to assist with the replacement and enhancement of University College Cork’s key central storage, backup and compute infrastructure. As part of the overall infrastructure refresh program, there is a requirement to:
- • Review and replace existing Storage infrastructure
- • Review and replace existing Backup infrastructure
- • Data migration from legacy SAN
- • Environment virtualization
The project is progressing with the following completed:
- • All hardware has been installed as planned
- • We have successfully migrated relevant IT Services Virtual Servers from the legacy solution to the new DELL solution. This puts critical line of business services on a supported platform and also provides required capacity for us to meet on going demands.
- • The migration of the NAS (nas.ucc.ie) files shares is planned to happen before the end of May
- • The new backup solution (– DPM and Netvault –) is now being used to backup production data and servers.
- Research infrastructure for cloud premises
- Implementing cloud elasticity with Azure and AWS
- Cloud brockerage services for research and academic purposes
- Cloud and DR backup using Veeam
- Full IaaS service offered by end 2016
Student Identity Management
Students in UCC have multiple sets of credentials. This is a legacy from when accessing campus based network services was distinct from authenticating externally accessible web applications. The Portal@UCC account was used for web services such as MyStudent Admin, Blackboard, Umail Smartcard, and Edugate (Shibboleth) Services, while the Student IT account was used for campus based services such as Eduroam Wifi, Printing services and logging onto the Desktop computers in the Student IT Centres. The Student Authentication project seeks to move to a single set of credentials for all students, by moving all our services to leverage the Student IT account. This project has also faciliated the rollout of Office365 and ADFS services for students.
Current Status of Project:
New students in 2016 do not have a Portal@UCC account, and now use the Student IT account for all services. A hybrid environment is in place for all other students, where they can authenticate to services using either set of credentials seamlessly. The current phase of the project (Semester 1, 2016/2017) involves moving all other registered students to adopt the student-it account for all services, so we can discontinue the use of the portal@ucc account for registered students.
Timeline for Project:
The current phase (migration of registered students) is expected to be complete by the end of Semester 1, Academic Year 2016/2017 (January 2017). The project will then consider the full account lifecycle management, how we manage our graduate accounts, and the ultimate retirement of the portal@ucc directory.
Core Road Map Project
The UCC CoreHR Information System (HRIS) was successfully upgraded (to Version 21.0.18) in November 2015. The HRIS upgrade project was delivered on time and within budget. On a national level, UCC progressed from running the oldest version of CoreHR to the latest version in the Higher Education sector. NUIG and UL also upgraded to this version of CoreHR in 2015, placing UCC in a key position to collaborate and lead in delivering on line services to staff.
The UCC cross functional project team, with staff from IT Services, HR and Payroll worked closely with; upgrade teams, from software companies and NUIG and UL to deliver the complex upgrade.
This version of HRIS offers new functionality and feature rich Manager and Employee Self Service (MSS & ESS) modules that will greatly benefit UCC staff.
The Core Road Map Project is a strategic project initiated to implement additional HRIS functionality in UCC post upgrade. The project is in the planning phase and the proposed additional functionality in scope is:
- Employee Self Service Modules
- Leave Requests
- Online Training Requests for HR
- Online Training Requests for Health and Safety Office
- Manager self Service
UCC functional business process reviews have been completed, business requirements have been submitted and CoreHR and UCC are now finalising the Projects Statement of Work, associated costs, resources and timelines.
This is a project to enhance the staff email system by leveraging new cloud technologies. In 2014 UCC started to look at options to expand the current email and collaboration software. After reviewing a number of different options available, it was concluded that the most suitable option for UCC would be a Hybrid model with Microsoft’s Office 365 email solution. This would allow a straightforward transition for people without the need to change all their existing devices and software. It will give all users with a cloud mailbox a limit of 50 GB which is almost 100 times the current 600MB limit. It also provides us with the option of assigning a 100GB archive if requested. If there is a requirement to keep some email on servers on site in UCC, this option also provides the capability of doing this.
Office 365 is a suite of online applications. These are office applications plus other productivity services that are enabled over the Internet (cloud services), such as Skype for Business web conferencing and hosted email for business. An additional benefit is 1TB storage per person in Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business, a “dropbox” style of online storage. The platform can also provide off campus access to university applications such as Employee Self Service and Agresso in a secure manner. Other applications in the suite will be rolled out at a later stage including a Rights Management Solution.
A test domain has been purchased and the test tenancy has all the appropriate licenses assigned. Testing on the impact to people using the system and the interconnectivity of the on premises systems is started.
Testing completed and signed off. Change request for the production system is sent through the IT Services change control process. UCC Staff are informed of the forthcoming changes.
Introduction of new login page for staff email and 2 new hybrid servers to connect the legacy on premises email servers with the new cloud infrastructure.
First Pilot Migration: IT Services and Department of Nursing and Midwifery. Teething problems identified and solutions found.
Second Pilot Migration: Departments of Finance and Human Resources. Issues with older software on clients discovered. Additional remediation on client management systems required.
Phased departmental rollout as well as early adopters who wish to use remote access to the HR and Finance systems or avail of the larger capacity mailbox size.
Migrations are continuing at a steady pace. 632 mailboxes remain to be migrated (July 25th 2016) with most scheduled for the completion by the end of July. This represents 13% remaining of the 4702 mailboxes that IT Services manages.
One hour presentations on tips and tricks for getting the most out of office 365, drop in sessions to answer any queries or issues that people may have and additional content on the website for self-paced learning.
Decommission obsolete legacy hardware from UCC data centres.
Disaster Recovery Planning
Driven by findings in 2013/14 Audit in Continuity of Systems and Security of Infrastructure significant projects were implemented to improve our infrastructure resiliency and disaster recovery of systems.
A secondary Disaster Recovery site was identified and the new infrastructure and backup solutions were implemented to improve recovery capabilities of the services run out of the main data center. The new infrastructure included failover capability of compute and storage, and also new backup applications were implemented with enhanced recovery capabilities.
In recent 12 months critical UCC business applications (Core HR, Agresso, ITS) have been migrated to the enhanced infrastructure. The Disaster Recovery Plan was created to reflect the new architecture, identify critical services, their recovery time/point objectives and the process for invoking DR.
A DR testing strategy was developed and some key test scenarios were carried out between November – July 2016.
Next steps include identify further testing scenarios and executing tests per service. Building on this with a view to simulating a full outage of the main data center and failover to the secondary data center: target Summer 2017.
Plans for Q3/Q4 2016 include implementation of more sophisticated DR technologies and further enhancing failover capabilities – making it less complex, targeting zero downtime and leveraging cloud technologies for backups with greater retention periods.
DR documentation and recovery procedures need to be aligned full with the overall UCC Business Continuity and Crisis Management and the invocation process road tested –target Q4 2016.
The new Multimedia Repository will provide a central location or platform where the University can store, catalog and distribute its large collection of digital media assets. This new project is an upgrade of the current uPic service currently offered while also provisioning for film assets. Licensed users will interact with the repository over a new web interface.
- A new server and local storage space has been commissioned for the upgrade to the uPic project.
- New Digital Asset Management software has been installed.
- Existing stock from old server has been migrated to new server.
- New processes being designed to correctly manage digital assets before upload to new system.
- Upic.ucc.ie went live in November 2015.
- Cataloguing digital products in association with Media & Communications and the Library.
Staff Self Services Site
As part of their new case management system, it is IT Services’ plan to launch a self-service website where staff will be able to make requests for access to services, read how-to’s, log faults or make general queries. The site will prompt the staff member for all the information that IT Services require to help staff as well as, provide them with information on how to resolve any issues themselves. Staff will be able to access the site with email credentials and the system will also be accessible external to the University LAN. External access will be provided through the O365 My Apps service.
The system has been rolled out and advertised and further marketing is planned at the start of the new term.
UCC need to update it’s Business Intelligence environment to version 9.4.1 of Microstrategy. This project is required as the version UCC are currently running is not compatible with Chrome, Safari and Firefox and only partially supported by Internet Explorer. This upgrade has provided a modern, stable and supported environment for end users and staff. The updated software has also provide a method for the distribution of analysis, dashboards and reports via email or delivery to network drives.
Microstrategy 9.4.1 has been installed and configured on the test server.
Initial testing has been completed and the environment is stable and producing correct and expected results for reports and dashboards.
- Implementation of BI reporting from Core HR
- Full economic costing model to be implemented
- Visualisation pilot in place with student administation office (Tableau)